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Readers may know the challenges the musical instrument industry has faced during the regulations surrounding the trade in rosewood. Two years of disruption to an industry that was an unintended consequence given that rosewood in musical instruments accounts for a very small proportion of the trade in rosewood. Musicians too, have been effected in what they can travel with and also what they can buy internationally. Suppliers have had the extra time and cost of import and export permits, and many major brands including Martin and Taylor were significantly affected given the short notice period given back in 2016. The industry supports conservation of these precious resources, but maintains it is not the problem.

The long awaited CITES meeting scheduled for May in Sri Lanka is looming where CITES. In May 2019, the regulations governing the use of rosewood will be considered. The industry has been lobbying for changes to the existing restrictions on rosewood in instrument manufacture to include an exemption on finished musical instruments, finished musical instrument parts and finished musical instrument accessories.  The industry has argued that musical instruments were an unintended consequence never really the intended target for the CITES ruling in the first place, and that rosewood of restrictions that were aimed at stopping illegal logging to supply the furniture industry.

This has been the subject of an intense lobbying process by the global music industry, and is an endorsement of the role of the NAMM initiated International Coordinating Committee over the years. At NAMM this year country representatives were given an update of the progress of the efforts of many associations around the world. The Australian Music Association AMA has supported the submissions of Canada and the EU along with many other trade associations worldwide, and endorsed the proposals of the coalition to our management authorities, providing the government link to advise of the industry’s challenges in management of the regulations.

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